Goodness...didn’t they say summer for teachers was supposed to be relaxing? No such luck for me. Summer school ended with a police escort of my bus back to it's home elementary school because of multiple threats on me, my car and another student...but the good part...it's over! That lovely paycheck next week will pay for our trip to London and Paris next spring. Other than that I have been doing little household projects here and there. I call it "phase 2" of our home improvements. It started with the carpet getting torn up and painting the hallway, then painting out that ugly built in desk. We still have to refinish the hardwoods in the bedroom and paint the baseboards for phase 2 to be complete. I threw in another little project for kicks which we have enjoyed the most. My mosaic table top! Click HERE for a complete photo diary of the process. We have lovely dinners and quiet, cool July nights out there now!

Just after I finished that table Alan and I needed to get the heck outta Dodge so we drove to the humidity capital of TX. Yes, kids, I mean Houston. It turned out to be a very random, but fun trip. Our friend Scott spent most of it with us. We drove around a lot (Alan seems to like that). We also took a spin through the MFA Houston, Contemporary Art museum and Taco Cabana. Never made it to the HCP because we opted to go check out the Orange Show that Alan had heard about and mentioned on this here blog recently. Very random photos can also be found of this trip.

We headed back on Sunday the 3rd only after spending several hours in the Ikea. I knew Alan wouldn’t want to go to the one opening on August 3rd in Frisco for quite some time, so I took him there to get the full experience without all the people. We only bought red folding chairs, but they have served us well at our outdoor dining table.

July 4th we had a lovely cookout in our back yard with the in-laws. Very nice time.

Since then I have tried to sleep a lot...workout some and plan for our next shin-dig that is happening this evening. What was supposed to be a surprise 30th anniversary party for Alan's parents has turned into a party that they are learning more and more about every day. Family members are giving things away...we had to tell them a little because Alan's father was insisting on going out of town etc etc. So, it should be fun...I am sure there are still some surprises to be had. It is scheduled to be in our backyard, but with the ominous threat of rain...we just might have to move furniture out of the way and have our "Backyard BBQ" in the living room. It will be cozy and fun, I am sure! BTW, I am also sick with no voice...so that should add to the fun!

2 more weeks of vacation...no other jobs panned out over the summer, so it looks like this will be another year at the lovely middle school...although I will say, my last for sure. I have a wedding gig in November in Austin, so that should help the process of getting me out of there.

I'll keep you posted.


I'm now officially on vacation. It's nearly midnight, and I'm sitting outside on the patio with a beer and Sirius Chill on the box (old Massive Attack right now, actually).

I don't have to think about work for an entire week. Lord knows I could use the break.

We've got some big stuff coming up this weekend - I promise I'll tell you all about it soon (or if not, then Emily will)...


Howdy, kids. It's July, and it's blisteringly hot in D-town (or at least was, until the storms today cooled things off a bit).

Both of my bosses are on vacation for the next week, so even though I'm off until Tuesday I'm still kind of in charge. Funny how that works. We did get our new employee hired and trained, and so far she seems to be working out quite well. There's a tremendous learning curve to the job, but so far she has absorbed a lot of detail in a short amount of time.

Em and I are headed to Houston in the morning for a couple days of sightseeing (yeah, I know, it's just Houston, but I've never really seen much of the city). Our agenda includes the Museum District, Ikea, the Orange Show and basic driving around - oh, and a visit with our old friend Scott who is stuck in the humidity capital of the world getting his law degree.

Em finished teaching summer school today, so we celebrated with dinner and drinks at Juan's (nothing special, but the buy-one-get-one-free coupon can't be beat). She's been busy with projects around the house, including a complete re-do of the built-in desk in our living room (now a lovely bar) and another big project which I'm sure she will tell you about soon.

We've decided to do a refinance on the house. The appraisal value has jumped so in the past year that we can get rid of PMI and lower the monthly payment, and our original lender has worked out a good deal that won't cost anything up front. It won't be a huge difference, but enough to save us some money each month (and therefore it's worth the trouble).

Finally, a recommendation: I don't listen to much hip-hop, but the new Common album 'Be' is outstanding, and takes me back to the great chill-out-vibe records of that genre I listened to as a wee lad (Tribe's 'Low End Theory', most notably). Check it out.

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